Today is Guest Blog day at Talking Business and we have Joanne Dolezal providing insights into digital marketing.
Digital Marketing (also known as Internet, Web or Online Marketing) is a collective name for marketing activity carried out online, as opposed to traditional marketing through print media, live promotions, TV and radio advertising.
It allows for accurate targeting and excellent reporting, making it far easier for even the lay person to judge whether digital marketing activities are having the desired effect or not.
Digital Marketing covers everything to do with your website, including Search Engine Optimisation – getting found online – and measuring where visitors to your website are coming from, what they’re at and which pages are most popular, among other things.
Driving visitors to your website, especially an e-commerce website, is essential if you want to achieve a healthy level of sales. Tactics include Search Engine Marketing – anticipating and targeting the language customers use to find products and services like yours – and Pay Per Click advertising – display adverts online.
Social Media is also a Digital Marketing tactic and works well to raise awareness of your brand and create weak links: it takes time, thought and regular effort to build trust with potential customers.
Email Marketing and Mobile Marketing allow you to send targeted communications to a (potential) customers inbox or mobile phone. Both require the recipient’s permission and are just as effective for Customer Retention as for Customer Acquisition. Mobile Marketing in particular has evolved from SMS (text message) based communications to encompass Mobile ‘friendly’ Marketing, with developments in smartphone and tablet technology. If your website is hard to navigate or looks too small on a smartphone screen – and 40% of google searches are made on a mobile device – you may be losing a lot of custom unnecessarily.
Compared to traditional marketing methods such as direct marketing, trade shows and advertising, Digital Marketing often requires a much smaller investment (important for small and medium-size businesses and start-ups).
The rapid growth of Digital Marketing is due to ever-increasing access to and speed of the Internet. Digital Marketing channels are increasingly effective at generating revenue and raising awareness.
The differences between tradition ‘campaign’ style marketing and digital marketing are:
1. Targeted versus Broadcast – over time it is possible to gather and analyse enough data on your target customers that you save considerable time and effort communicating with them. Either via email or mobile marketing, you can send direct messages to your target and past customers to build trust and loyalty. Imagine how much time, money and uncertainty this saves you as you can track opens, clicks and conversions online.
2. Flexibility versus Committed – because you have more control over the who, what, when, where of digital marketing you can control and modify the start and end of any activities within reason, rather than finding you are fixed into a longterm commitment that is either not working for you – based on digital metrics – or not generating the ROI (Return on Investment) you require. Response times are much faster too and campaigns can be set up and delivered in hours, rather than weeks or months.
3. Circular versus Linear – digital marketing encourages you to research, target, test, modify and repeat and tends to be a continuous circular process of learning and modification until you get it right. Traditional marketing campaigns take a lot of planning, but once they’ve ‘left the building’ there’s nothing you can do to change them.
4. ‘Low’ or ‘no cost’ versus Expensive! – print and broadcast media, whilst still effective at brand building, are beyond the means of all but a few businesses. The proliferation of TV networks and channels, online publications and even digital broadcasting have meant that it is ever harder to reach the whole population… but who wants to anyway? You want the ‘right customers’ for your business as they’re more likely to buy from you. ‘Laser vision’ trumps ‘spray and pray’.
If you want to know more about how to apply digital marketing to you business, why not join our next workshop, Digital Marketing ~ Decoded on 15th October 2014 to learn more about this area of marketing. You will gain a clear understanding of how to measure and monitor online traffic and by using this information, you will be able to update your marketing campaigns to drive increased traffic to your business.
If you can’t attend in person but would like to know more, get in touch.
Joanne Dolezal is lead consultant at Dolezal Consulting and a lecturer in Digital Marketing at NESMA, helping to deliver programmes for Digital Marketing Institute and Chartered Institute of Marketing. Joanne holds an MA Marketing and Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing. Joanne has worked across the public sector, private sector and with charities on marketing, branding and communications.
Dolezal Consulting provides marketing driven business growth using an improved strategic focus, a clear marketing plan and delivery through the best possible channels for your business and budget.